Sadler owned the night at Iowa Speedway

Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR
After a long and emotional week following the heartbreak at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Elliott Sadler can put that all behind him as he celebrates tonight's victory. Sadler took the checkered flag at Iowa Speedway after starting from the pole in the U.S. Cellular 250, making headlines with a classic tale of redemption.

“They are not taking this championship away from me,” shouted Sadler in his radio as he crossed the finish line. The emotion in his voice was pure unfiltered joy. Sadler increased what was a one-point lead over Austin Dillon to 18 points over his teammate.

After three consecutive wins at Iowa, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was looking to make Nationwide Series history if he could claim that fourth win. Also on the line, another shot at $100,000 in the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash and that same amount for a lucky fan. Stenhouse fell short, complaining of an ill-handling car all evening. He finished the night in fifth.

While this was a stand-alone race, four Cup drivers traveled the 978 miles from Pocono to race tonight. Sam Hornish Jr., Kurt Busch, Mike Bliss and Joe Nemechek all hopped on planes to endure the tight schedules. Hornish had the most traveling of the weekend after making it in time to qualify both cars. This was crucial for Hornish, who is fourth in points and the seat time proved valuable. He won the Dash 4 Cash for himself and a lucky fan. Tonight was the final race in the promotion, and in the contest's three previous races we saw Austin Dillon win in New Hampshire, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Chicagoland and Michael Annett last week at Indianapolis.

Another highlight of the night was the performance of Joe Gibbs development driver Darrell Wallace Jr who started in second position in only his second start in the Nationwide Series. He immediately took the lead and was several car lengths ahead. Wallace Jr. led a total of 31 laps and finished in 7th. An impressive start to his budding career as even Ricky Craven commented that he believes Wallace Jr. has a bright future in NASCAR.

An interesting note, the young guns of NASCAR were well represented tonight at Iowa. There were five teenagers racing: Wallace Jr, Ryan Blaney, Joey Gase, Timmy Hill and Brett Moffitt who will celebrate his 20th birthday on Tuesday. It was a strong night for these men. Blaney finished in the top ten for the second time in his first five NNS starts, with Moffitt scoring a ninth in his first Nationwide outing. Hill lost an engine and finished 30th while Gase broke a sway bar and landed in 32nd.

Not to be outdone, the ladies of racing also had a great night. Danica Patrick and Johanna Long both had solid performances and clean races respectively. Patrick started in 18th and finished in 11th, while Long started in 14th and finished in 13th.

Next week, the Nationwide Series heads to New York’s road course at Watkins Glen for the Zippo 200 at the Glen. The race starts at 2 PM and will air on ABC.

Race results:

  1. Elliott Sadler
  2. Justin Allgaier
  3. Sam Hornish Jr
  4. Michael Annett
  5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
  6. Michael McDowell
  7. Darrell Wallace Jr
  8. Jason Leffler
  9. Brett Moffitt
  10. Ryan Blaney
  11. Danica Patrick
  12. Brad Sweet
  13. Johanna Long
  14. Brendan Gaughan
  15. Austin Dillon
  16. Joe Nemechek
  17. Kurt Busch
  18. Brian Scott
  19. Cole Whitt
  20. Mike Bliss
  21. Jeremy Clements
  22. Tayler Malsam
  23. John Blankenship
  24. Jamie Dick
  25. Mike Wallace
  26. Justin Jennings
  27. Erik Darnell
  28. Scott Saunders
  29. Jason Bowles
  30. Timmy Hill
  31. Eric McClure
  32. Joey Gase
  33. Daryl Harr
  34. Josh Richards
  35. Morgan Shepherd
  36. T.J. Bell
  37. Mike Harmon
  38. Carl Long
  39. Tim Schendel
  40. Dusty Davis
  41. Matt DiBenedetto
  42. Chase Miller
  43. Jeff Green
Sadler owned the night at Iowa Speedway Sadler owned the night at Iowa Speedway Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, August 05, 2012 Rating: 5